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How James Turrell Knocked the Art World Off Its Feet

Wil S. Hylton, The New York Times Magazine

The plan had been simple on paper: Turrell would open three major shows inside a month. As soon as he finished the Lacma pieces, he would race to Texas for another huge installation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and then to Manhattan, where he is opening a show at the Guggenheim next week. Taken together, the three-museum retrospective is the biggest event in the art world this summer. As the curator of the Houston exhibition, Alison de Lima Greene, put it, “This is the first time that three museums have mounted exhibitions of this magnitude in conjunction, all devoted to a single artist.” In total, the retrospective takes up 92,000 square feet.

In the riveting cover piece for this week’s edition of The New York Times Magazine, Wil S. Hylton tells the story of famed American artist James Turrell, as he puts together the art world’s biggest installation and exhibition of the year.

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